Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 04, 2016, 02:21:59 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust  (Read 49341 times)

Josh

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Points: -5
  • Posts: 3,395
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #100 on: April 16, 2009, 01:56:52 PM »
People did not pay for lifetime UPGRADES, they paid for UPDATES, as in updates to the DVD functionality. While AnyDVD and the HD program are not "different" in that they are separate programs, they are different in that one offers differing functionality. The HD UPGRADE is not necessary for all people and it comes down to people not reading what they were purchasing. When I first purchased AnyDVD, I knew full well that only UPDATES were included. BRD is a new format for the HD Genre, HD-DVD is not really relevant as it is no longer actively supported by any studio. Yes, HD-DVD was a subset of DVD, but it is also a newer technology as the HD-DVD side of most discs will not read in a standard player and the content is encoded in a different manner (it is not 720x480 MPEG2).

But yes, it would have been ideal to make two totally discernable products, but instead they went this route and let people buy the addon if they required it (along with a lifetime subscription to UPDATES TO BRD FUNCTIONALITY).

J-Mac

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 2,913
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #101 on: April 16, 2009, 02:07:56 PM »
I have Lifetime licenses for both AnyDVD and CloneDVD, and I have benefitted from them - along with literally dozens, maybe over a hundred, updates for AnyDVD alone - for more than 6 years now. And guess what - I went ahead and purchased an upgrade to my AnyDVD lifetime license to add HD/BRD capability. Even though I currently don't have either an HD-DVD nor BRD player! Well, if you already had a license the upgrade was ridiculously inexpensive, plus I figure that I'll probably be using the HD stuff sooner or later. But without the HD/BRD upgrade I have gotten an immense amount of use, along with innumerable upgrades and flawless, uncomplaining support from Slysoft so this was probably the only way I could continue to support them. I don't mind at all.

Others do drive me mad, though....

Jim

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #102 on: April 16, 2009, 02:10:49 PM »
Slysoft should have created a new product AnyHD that cannot do DVD at all, and then package with every license of AnyHD a free license to AnyDVD so that its users can do DVDs as well.

Why should a user of AnyHD have to suffer for the sake of mindset?  Suffer how you ask?  To have to open separate applications just so people's 'mindset' would be in a certain way.  It's sort of like regular versions vs pro versions- the pro version has more features than the regular version, but both are built into the same application.  What's wrong with that?

CWuestefeld

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,001
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #103 on: April 16, 2009, 02:17:29 PM »
People did not pay for lifetime UPGRADES, they paid for UPDATES

upGRADES is certainly the perception. If Slysoft wants to avoid bad will, they should have made this crystal clear. (And so that we're not just arguing about suppositions, does anyone have the actual text of their lifetime agreement?)

Why should a user of AnyHD have to suffer for the sake of mindset?  Suffer how you ask?  To have to open separate applications just so people's 'mindset' would be in a certain way.

Because Slysoft screwed up, that's why.

Obviously Slysoft doesn't have to do this -- in fact, they did not. But the alternative is the amount of bad will they have created amongst their older customers.

Not every situation has a solution that's positive all around. Slysoft made the lousy situation, and only they can make the decision about whether the old customer bad will, or future user inconvenience, or some third option, best achieves their goals.

J-Mac

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 2,913
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #104 on: April 16, 2009, 02:27:19 PM »
Slysoft should have created a new product AnyHD that cannot do DVD at all, and then package with every license of AnyHD a free license to AnyDVD so that its users can do DVDs as well.

Why should a user of AnyHD have to suffer for the sake of mindset?  Suffer how you ask?  To have to open separate applications just so people's 'mindset' would be in a certain way.  It's sort of like regular versions vs pro versions- the pro version has more features than the regular version, but both are built into the same application.  What's wrong with that?

It is not a "separate app"; it simply adds the ability to strip the copy protection from HD-DVD and BRD. People open the exact same application that they always have. It just has more capabilities.

Slysoft was the first to break the copy protection for the HD-DVD and BRD, and then when a newer, supposedly better copy protection was introduced, Slysoft broke it again. Don't you think they deserve to earn a little more revenue for that?

Jim

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #105 on: April 16, 2009, 02:34:39 PM »
Slysoft should have created a new product AnyHD that cannot do DVD at all, and then package with every license of AnyHD a free license to AnyDVD so that its users can do DVDs as well.

Why should a user of AnyHD have to suffer for the sake of mindset?  Suffer how you ask?  To have to open separate applications just so people's 'mindset' would be in a certain way.  It's sort of like regular versions vs pro versions- the pro version has more features than the regular version, but both are built into the same application.  What's wrong with that?

It is not a "separate app"; it simply adds the ability to strip the copy protection from HD-DVD and BRD. People open the exact same application that they always have. It just has more capabilities.

Slysoft was the first to break the copy protection for the HD-DVD and BRD, and then when a newer, supposedly better copy protection was introduced, Slysoft broke it again. Don't you think they deserve to earn a little more revenue for that?

I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm disagreeing with the quoted user.  They stated that there should have been an AnyHD product that didn't include the ability to do DVDs, and my thoughts followed from that...  Look at the quote below and you can see what he says about that stance, and my response defending the action...

Why should a user of AnyHD have to suffer for the sake of mindset?  Suffer how you ask?  To have to open separate applications just so people's 'mindset' would be in a certain way.

Because Slysoft screwed up, that's why.

How did they screw up?  Several companies have released a Pro version of the product after the original version, and haven't gotten any bad press about it, especially if they offer a reduced cost upgrade path to the Pro version.  The only 'screw up' I can see is not naming it something other than AnyHD- perhaps AnyDVD Pro or something would have absolved them?  But why?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 02:38:35 PM by wraith808 »

Josh

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Points: -5
  • Posts: 3,395
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #106 on: April 16, 2009, 03:01:18 PM »
Please, take this as no disrespect towards any users here, but this to me sounds like the sole thing I was talking about in my "Entitled Generation" thread. People seem to feel that everything should be free. They fail to either read the fine print which clearly stated that UPDATES were included and that they reserved the right to UPGRADE the product at any time. They clearly distinguished that UPDATES were included for free for the lifetime of the product and users have been getting what they paid for for years now. An Upgrade is a change in functionality, an update is a fix to a problem or a new addition to the existing protection breaking code for AnyDVD. People just feel they should get everything for free since many never bothered to read that UPDATES were included, not UPGRADES

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #107 on: April 16, 2009, 04:18:27 PM »
There is truth in Josh's comment but there is also truth in other comments. Procuts that have been discussed in this (and other threads) include:

  • Breeze Browser - this simply changed its name by adding Pro and (AFAICS) added no functionality at all (at least not at the point they did it)
  • FruityLoops - SOLD lifetime upgrades as an add-on product and THEN changed the name of the product and no longer support the product they SOLD lifetime upgrades to. They now SELL lifetime upgrades to the 'new' product - but every version they release comes with extra features in the form of trial plugins which are additional cost if you want to use them. AFAICS the core application changes very little from version to version.
  • Collectorz editions - used lifetime upgrade guarantees to sell their products and changed the model but carried on supporting the 'lifetime' customers with new version. That was fair enough but they are now shifting ground towards subscription use of the only data base they continue to support in order to get around the issue with users who are entitled to those free upgrades.

All three of these examples used fraudulent practices to market their products dishonestly and they need to be shown up for it.

I don't agree that Slysoft did the same thing at all. AnyDVD is still an active product that gets regular free updates, AnyDVD HD is a different product that shares some common functions and has required a lot of different expenditure in terms of time and effort to produce that does not benefit the market who originally purchased AnyDVD. I suppose they could have produced AnyDVD and AnyHD as completely separate non-overlapping products and sold them separately - and in terms of marketing perhaps it would have made more sense to have done that. The people who benefit from the current situation are the ones who buy the HD version - the normal DVD version users really don't have any right to complain (IMHO).

It is ironic that the only company behaving ethically in this list produce a product that can put their customers into jail for just owning it (at least in the UK)!!!

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #108 on: April 16, 2009, 09:00:55 PM »
I can't see why people are bitching over slysoft - would you bitch if a PRO version of an application was released after you bought a license for the NORMAL version?

DVD, HD-DVD and BluRay are three different optical formats (afaik), but that's kinda irrelevant since the optical drives handle that.

What does matter, though, is that it's different file formats, codecs, and copy protection. The ability to decode protected BluRay (I assume that's what slysoft does) is quite some code (and reverse engineering) compared to DVD DeCSS... not something I'd expect getting in a program upgrade/update/whatever.
- carpe noctem

Josh

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Points: -5
  • Posts: 3,395
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #109 on: April 17, 2009, 05:56:36 AM »
I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is the problem with the "entitled generation". You bought a lifetime license to UPDATES for AnyDVD. AnyDVD HD is a new product which has been incorporated into the existing software for simplicity so people don't need two different programs running. The HD UPGRADE is just that, an UPGRADE. It is NOT an update to the existing DVD/CD code. People feel that because they bought lifetime UPDATES they are ENTITLED to this UPGRADE. It's a failure to understand what was being purchased.

mwb1100

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,520
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #110 on: April 17, 2009, 01:17:11 PM »
I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is the problem with the "entitled generation".

I'd say it's more a problem of unclear definitions, misunderstandings, or in a very few cases outright deception.

Nowadays, 'updates' generally means the release of something with a change only to the minor version number, while 'upgrades' means the release of something with a change to the major version number.  However, the meanings of these terms are not set in stone, and some vendors make it clear what they mean, some don't.  Even in the the case where they make it clear, it's usually up to the vendor what constitutes a major version change.

I know that years ago I would often misread 'lifetime updates' as 'lifetime upgrades' - it probably doesn't help that upgrade and update are rather similar words in form and meaning.  Anyway, I've learned to read more carefully since then.

In AnyDVD's case, I'll admit I was a bit bummed when AnyDVD-HD wasn't an 'update', but after some thought I can see their position makes sense and I can live with it.  But I can also see how some people might feel that the distinction between AnyDVD vs. AnyDVD-HD is arbitrary (although I don't agree).
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 01:19:23 PM by mwb1100 »

raybeere

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 94
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #111 on: April 17, 2009, 03:27:17 PM »
I've never used Any-DVD, or any variant, so I'm basing my comments on what I've read here. First, I agree the company was not unethical in what they did; the new release was a new product. However, I think there is a lesson here for small companies, that while customers do expect ethical behaviour, they also expect to be treated well. If I'm reading it correctly, they sold the earlier program, then, in the case of one poster, days after he bought this earlier license, a new product came out, with new functionality but also with all the functions of the old. So I do think they erred in failing to treat their customers in the way most customers would like to be treated.

Look at that experience from the point of view of the customer: if he'd known the new product was coming out, and would be treated separately, he could have waited and obtained all the functions of both for the single price. Instead, they didn't make this plain, so to get both he needed to pay for both programs. (The amounts don't matter. Buying both would cost more than buying one. That is all that matters to make my point.) I'd be upset, not that designating new functionality as a new program was unethical, but simply because they withheld information about the upcoming release (presumably to gain a few more sales of the old one - who's going to buy it once they know it will be outdated?). I wouldn't want to do business with a company that treated me that way. High standards? Maybe, but customers have just as much right to insist on whatever standards they like as companies do to decide what standards they will follow.

So, to my mind, this company alienated a certain number of customers by the way they acted. To gain a limited amount of extra sales, they lost untold future sales. What would I suggest they could have done? Be honest, at the very beginning, about the new program they're developing, and the fact it will be treated as a new product. At that point, they might scare away a few sales, but most folks won't want to wait that long for the new product - and, since the old one is becoming outdated, they could encourage sales by cutting the price a bit. As time passed, they could announce that any purchaser of the old program after a specified date would qualify for a certain percentage discount off the price of the new one. Finally, they could announce that those who bought the old license after a specific date, close to the new release (say, within a month) would just get a free license to the new product. Yes, this would cost them a bit more - but I think it would earn them even more goodwill.

Am I saying they should be obligated to do this? No, I'm simply saying it seems like a policy that would have alienated a lot fewer customers, and would have more than paid for itself in the long run. I know there are a few small businesses I deal with that have gone the extra mile - and, when they show me they're willing to do that, I'm much more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in cases that aren't terribly clear. I've knowingly paid more, even when customer service wasn't a consideration - when I'm dealing with a business I know is generally willing to treat me as I'd like to be treated.

J-Mac

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 2,913
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #112 on: April 17, 2009, 04:11:35 PM »
I've never used Any-DVD, or any variant, so I'm basing my comments on what I've read here. First, I agree the company was not unethical in what they did; the new release was a new product. However, I think there is a lesson here for small companies, that while customers do expect ethical behaviour, they also expect to be treated well. If I'm reading it correctly, they sold the earlier program, then, in the case of one poster, days after he bought this earlier license, a new product came out, with new functionality but also with all the functions of the old. So I do think they erred in failing to treat their customers in the way most customers would like to be treated.

Look at that experience from the point of view of the customer: if he'd known the new product was coming out, and would be treated separately, he could have waited and obtained all the functions of both for the single price. Instead, they didn't make this plain, so to get both he needed to pay for both programs. (The amounts don't matter. Buying both would cost more than buying one. That is all that matters to make my point.) I'd be upset, not that designating new functionality as a new program was unethical, but simply because they withheld information about the upcoming release (presumably to gain a few more sales of the old one - who's going to buy it once they know it will be outdated?). I wouldn't want to do business with a company that treated me that way. High standards? Maybe, but customers have just as much right to insist on whatever standards they like as companies do to decide what standards they will follow.

So, to my mind, this company alienated a certain number of customers by the way they acted. To gain a limited amount of extra sales, they lost untold future sales. What would I suggest they could have done? Be honest, at the very beginning, about the new program they're developing, and the fact it will be treated as a new product. At that point, they might scare away a few sales, but most folks won't want to wait that long for the new product - and, since the old one is becoming outdated, they could encourage sales by cutting the price a bit. As time passed, they could announce that any purchaser of the old program after a specified date would qualify for a certain percentage discount off the price of the new one. Finally, they could announce that those who bought the old license after a specific date, close to the new release (say, within a month) would just get a free license to the new product. Yes, this would cost them a bit more - but I think it would earn them even more goodwill.

Am I saying they should be obligated to do this? No, I'm simply saying it seems like a policy that would have alienated a lot fewer customers, and would have more than paid for itself in the long run. I know there are a few small businesses I deal with that have gone the extra mile - and, when they show me they're willing to do that, I'm much more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in cases that aren't terribly clear. I've knowingly paid more, even when customer service wasn't a consideration - when I'm dealing with a business I know is generally willing to treat me as I'd like to be treated.

I disagree with just about your entire post. And not having ever used or purchased their software is probably the cause of the misinformation.

If the user you refer to had purchased it only days before, he would have gotten the newer version free - or contacted Slysoft and it would be covered. I've seen this and been there myself. They have never been deceptive in their sales practices. I don't think Slysoft alienated many users at all, actually. What do you base that on? One or two comments here?

Though their HD product sells separately the original AnyDVD is still fully supported - a lot of users watch DVD's and not Blue Ray, myself included. And when Slysoft made the announcement that the selling of lifetime licenses was coming to an end, they delayed the cutoff date at least four times when asked by users. I don't think I have seen that before in the software industry.

IMO you are picking on the wrong developer. There are plenty who do it differently and deserve such wrath.  :)

Jim

mwb1100

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,520
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #113 on: April 17, 2009, 04:28:24 PM »
in the case of one poster, days after he bought this earlier license, a new product came out, with new functionality but also with all the functions of the old. So I do think they erred in failing to treat their customers in the way most customers would like to be treated.

...

if he'd known the new product was coming out, and would be treated separately, he could have waited and obtained all the functions of both for the single price. Instead, they didn't make this plain, so to get both he needed to pay for both programs. (The amounts don't matter. Buying both would cost more than buying one. That is all that matters to make my point.)

Except that the amount kind of does matter in this case. When the AnyDVD-HD product was released, it cost more than the AnyDVD product (which was and is still offered). So even if he had waited until AnyDVD-HD was released, he would have had to pay more than he did for AnyDVD to get the HD functionality.  Now, it's possible that AnyDVD+upgrade to AnyDVD-HD cost more than buying both at once, but I'm pretty sure the difference was minimal if anything (I think the cost was the same except if discount coupons were applied - since coupons don't work for the upgrade).

Part of the confusion in this matter is that while AnyDVD-HD is considered a different product than AnyDVD, it is a strict superset of AnyDVD (ie., you don't buy both AnyDVD and a separate AnyDVD-HD - you buy AnyDVD and an add-on for the AnyDVD-HD functions). I think that Slysoft have changed how AnyDVD/AnyDVD-HD is purchased to make them more 'separate' products when initially purchased.  But in either case, there's no reason to have a separate license for AnyDVD and AnyDVD-HD (unless you need licenses for multiple machine - but that's a different issue).

Josh

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Points: -5
  • Posts: 3,395
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #114 on: April 17, 2009, 04:31:28 PM »
Actually, the cost of AnyDVD HD cost the same as buying AnyDVD and then the HD Upgrade. I did this and it cost me the exact same as a new license. Now that is not the case anymore, but users were given plenty of time and warning about the change in licensing systems. You cannot blame slysoft for user's waiting until after they had made the switch to a subscription model, that is solely on the user as they were given plenty of time.

raybeere

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 94
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #115 on: April 17, 2009, 05:05:57 PM »
I went nuts when SlySoft AnyDVD came out with AnyDVD HD five days after I had just purchased the license,

This is the post I was thinking of. And please notice that I qualified my opinion to state it was only valid if I understood correctly.

In any case, I wasn't "blaming" SlySoft. Although some of the facts weren't clear to me (since, as I was careful to point out, I have never used the product: my information all came from this thread), no matter who you blame, there is still one point I think it is very important for small companies (any company that isn't so big they can afford to get all arrogant and "we're too large to worry about the customer") to understand. No matter what the cause is, no matter what or who you blame, the basic point still remains. Unless you figure out a way to handle things so your customers are convinced you're treating them fairly, any policy you set will end up harming your own business.

This basic point, which is true even if I didn't have all the details, has absolutely nothing to do with blame. Even if we agree to stipulate that many people today feel entitled and expect more than they have a right to - that is still the way they feel, and they will still react on those feelings. And any company that depends on selling to people with those expectations still needs to understand what reactions their actions will have.

(Yes, this next rant is relevant. Stick with me.)
I'm a writer. Editors expect us to understand they can't pay decent rates. (In one recent incident, it slipped out a new magazine, one supposedly focused on stories, was planning to pay $1,000 for cover art - but not more than about $50 for a story.) The public expects they ought to be able to copy our stuff, just because it's easy, without paying us. I know of one writer who's been at it for at least twenty-five years and written dozens of books (I'm not mentioning names because I have no desire to invade this person's privacy) whose income for 2007 was in the high four figures. They are successful, "midlist", a pretty solid if not spectacular position, and established, and their annual income was less than $10,000! (That went up in 2008 - because they developed other sources of income.) Is that fair? I certainly don't think so. They're a good writer, with a decent fan base. In no way are they to blame for any of this - but they still need to understand how that market works in order to deal with it.

No matter what the facts are, you need to understand all of them if you don't want to end up in trouble. There are, pretty clearly, a lot of upset users over this issue. From what I've heard, I don't think that anger is deserved. But the basic fact still remains: they seemingly didn't understand how their customers were going to react, and this has no doubt hurt them. Does anyone really think they'd benefit from anyone encouraging them simply to look at the reasons why it was ethical and fair to do what they did? I know, if I liked a company, no matter how strongly I thought they were right, I'd also encourage them to look at whatever it was which caused so many customers to hate them. Because that result simply is not good for the company. No matter whose fault it is, as long as there is a perception the company is bad, that is a problem they need to solve.